Friday, 24 June 2011

Why do I …?

Quilt – Part 1

I’ve been thinking about a mini-series on ‘Why do I…?’.  And for today, I am starting with quilting.

First of all, how did it start?  In 2000, we were just moving back to France from Germany.  Alice was at pre-school, Victor and Juliette at home with me.  My little guy had a monocluosis and was always so tired, and Juliette was just a couple of months old.  My days were very busy and not very interesting, or maybe I was feeling alone and very tired.  NSAH2 was travelling so much (this has been a very strong trend in our life), leaving at 5:00 on Monday mornings, and coming back at 23:00 on Friday nights.  Having just arrived in a new city, I was on my own most of the time. But the sunshine in my life was on Thursdays, when Cecile, our babysitter, would come look after the kids and help with the housekeeping.  Which meant that I had half a day free, just for myself.

The local Art and Culture centre at our little town ran different activities, but the only one on Thursday was Patchwork, from 10:00 to 13:00 every other Thursday.  So I registered.  Segolene was our teacher, we were a very small group of ladies, some of us new to the art, some more experienced.

My first quilt was a sampler.  As you can see, I did not have much idea about colour values.  I learnt to calculate, draw, cut and use plastic templates.  I hardly do this any more.

First ever quilt

Our second project was a mystery quilt.  It was pretty easy and it was so interesting to see the different results from a same and unique simple pattern.  My quilt has been used over an over, the binding is so thin now, there are a few holes, burn marks.  I cherish the memory of the kids wrapped in it, watching TV.

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(Don’t I look exhausted? and what a unflattering top!)

Then we moved to pencil and colour pens.  On small pieces of paper, we draw this pattern and coloured it.  I made a quilt for Victor from it.  My little boy was only 3, starting to speak and already in love with lots of girls.  He was so proud when his quilt, his ‘ture’ (in his own language) made it to the local exhibition.  Once again, this quilt has been very much loved and used.  Again, the bidding is fiving, and I learnt that wadding quality was very important to the durability of the quilt.  I bought a very poor wadding, and now I can feel it has almost disintegrated.  Which is a shame, considering that I spent 20 to 30 minutes to quilt each Sun Bonnet Sue, there are 50 of them all around the border.

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